The novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ is considered to be a reflection or illustrative allegorical novel of our society. In the novel, Gilding displays two forms of power and how they are exercised by two individuals. On one hand, Ralph depicted and reflected a liberal democracy, whereas Jack showed a totalitarian and authority form of leadership. With further deconstruction of the novel, the theme and notion is clear that inside everyone there is a ‘beast’. Moreover, it is one’s ability to use their strength and good nature to overcome this and make decisions for the better of others.
The Lord of the Flies is a creation of how human beings need both rules and a belief of some rot otherwise authority will be led to its demise. When one analyses The Lord of the Flies and the theme Gilding sets out of; “The moral is that the shape of society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not any political system”, one may come across the significant similarities between the reality of the world’s political structure.
As reflected in the book, majority countries need some sort of leader which reflects them as a society.
This is shown in the election of Ralph as leader. The novel sets out with the boys marooned on an island that seek to establish a leader and a system. One must question the reason as to why Ralph was elected without deep thought. As Ralph blew the conch they were mesmerism by the power it held and the way Ralph could blow it. To the boys, the conch instituted a structure of a system in which replicated a democracy. In creating such a structure, each of the boys when holding the symbolic power of the conch, were allowed to express their thoughts and opinions.
This system of a democratic government was symbolized by the conch. “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak and he can hold it while he is speaking’ (Gilding, 1 954: 43). Such a system that appeared to be equal was in favor to Ralph in obtaining his status of power. However, Rally’s lack of insight as elected chief was a critical factor as to why the system failed. However, without the ethical nature of the individuals who shape the society, any government would come to its demise as it did in The Lord of the Flies.
Humans by nature are as fallible as anyone else when it comes to stepping into the pit of being greedy and wanting power. Shown in the text, the inner works of a democratic government are just as trouble as any other form of government. The mashing of the conch shell represented the demise of a civil Structure that may have once reigned. “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! ” (Gilding, 1953, 142). From this point onwards in the text, the boys resulted to savagery and as power and life was at risk, the “survival of the fittest theory” came into play.
Jack’s group and form of authority began to appeal to the boys as they had to decide where they were going to lay their alliances with. The fact that Jack could provide shelter, safety and resources with the skills of proportioning led to the boys putting their faith and trust in his authority. With hindsight, the novel shows these two types of powers as parallels in depicting what has happened in the past with governments and leaders. An example of this would be Doll Hitler is seen through the eyes of Jack and Roger.
Similarities can be draw between the more so Rodgers and Hitler as they both strove towards the totalitarian power regime through the use of evil and brutality. Jack contrasted techniques used by other political members such as George Bush in his speech against terrorism after the event of 9/1 1 . Both instill fear into society however they justify that they are able to protect hem from harm. This technique IS used to endorse power. In addition to this, Ralph position of authority reflects that even the ‘perfect’ government of democracy can but as corrupt as any.
Different systems fit different societies, however it is not the type of system that shapes the morals of the society, it is the people whom are in power. This is paralleled in the novel as Ralph provided a democratic system however he as a leader could not meet the standards to provide decision making and resources for his people. In the final analysis it is clear that the novel reflects the world as it is today. Gilding’s use of parallels and language is a powerful tool achieving this in-depth novel.
In addition, all societies have hierarchal power structures which benefit some more than others. However, the personality of an individual has a connection to how that power given is used. All human beings are as fallible as another in the greed and want of power. The inner works of a democratic government are just as troubled as any other form of government. There is no perfect government, it is the characteristics and ethical nature of the individual and people of its society which shape the morals of the society.
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